WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Ephs concluded the east-coast portion of their spring break training trip with their fourth match in as many days, when they visited the campus of Division I Georgetown University on Tuesday, looking to rebound from their first loss of the season. While playing on the Hoyas' home courts, the Ephs also had to play by their format, which meant that the doubles matches were shortened to normal sets - first to six, win by two, with a 6-all tiebreaker - and that a single doubles point would be awarded to the team who won more doubles matches.
Even with this new format in-play, it was not the doubles portion of the match that caused the Ephs their troubles. Instead, it was the singles portion, where the Ephs dropped all three of the matches that were pushed to decisive third sets, which proved to be the difference, as the purple and gold fell to the blue and gray, 5-2.
Things were looking up for the Ephs during the doubles portion, where they were forced to be extra sharp right out of the gates due to the shortened format. Thanks to wins on Courts 1 and 3, courtesy of the partnership of Hannah Atkinson and Chloe Henderson, as well as Mia Gancayco and Leah Bush, the Ephs entered the singles portion with the doubles point firmly in their grasp.
The Ephs could not sustain their advantage for long, however, as the Hoyas notched quick wins on the top two courts, as Victoire Saperstein blanked Bush, while her teammate, Sara Swift, recorded a pair of 6-2 sets to defeat Sydney Myong, bringing the overall dual score to 2-1 in favor of the Hoyas.
The sea-saw would continue to swing though, and Julia Cancio had the Ephs level with the Hoyas once again with a tidy win at the number six position, jumping out to a 6-1 first set, before grinding out the win in the second set, 6-4.
With the match all-square at two-points-apiece, the match would hinge on the three remaining courts, all of which would be determined by third sets.
Linda Shin's match on Court 3 against Risa Nakagawa was the first to be decided. After a tough start, losing the first set 6-2, the Eph senior and co-captain found her form in the second set, as she tallied a 6-4 win to force a third set with the Hoya sophomore. However, in spite of Shin's momentum, Nakagawa would win the day, as she reversed the second-set score-line in her own favor, downing the Eph #3, 6-4, to renew the Hoya's advantage in the dual.
Buoyed by her teammate's win, Sydney Goodson produced a similar victory on Court 4 against Gancayco, after they exchanged two 6-3 sets to start the match. Although a proven third-set fighter with her singles win against Emory the day before, the Eph junior was unable to reproduce the same result, ultimately falling by a 6-4 margin in the deciding set to the native Virginian, who clinched the match for the home team in the process.
Although the match had already been decided, third-set action on Court 5 between Atkinson and Sophia Barnard had already begun, after the former had raced out to a 6-2 first set before the latter rallied to take the second set 7-5. With the momentum primarily against the Eph senior and other co-captain, the Hoya senior was able to ride that wave to the finish line, cruising comfortably to a 6-1 final set, to finish off the match, 5-2, in the process.
"Today was very good experience for us," commented Eph head coach Alison Swain, taking the positives from her team's performance against a tough Division I outfit. "In the end, I think a few matches could have gone either way, and Georgetown really stepped up to take them. It's been a very good four days for us and we can already see our tennis and mindset improving from one match to the next."
The Ephs now have a pair of days off, as they make the transcontinental journey to southern California, where they will play the remaining three matches of their spring break training trip, the first of which will take place on Friday at 12 PM PDT against the University of Chicago on the courts of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Georgetown 5, Williams 2
- Saperstein, Victoire (GEORGETOWN) def. Bush, Leah (WILLIAMS) 6-0, 6-0
- Swift, Sara (GEORGETOWN) def. Myong, Sydney (WILLIAMS) 6-2, 6-2
- Nakagawa, Risa (GEORGETOWN) def. Shin, Linda (WILLIAMS) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
- Goodson, Sydney (GEORGETOWN) def. Gancayco, Mia (WILLIAMS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
- Barnard, Sophia (GEORGETOWN) def. Atkinson, Hannah (WILLIAMS) 2-6, 7-5, 6-1
- Cancio, Julia (WILLIAMS) def. de Chatellus, Daphne (GEORGETOWN) 6-1, 6-4
- Atkinson, Hannah/Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. Saperstein, Victoire/Nakagawa, Risa (GEORGETOWN) 7-5
- Goodson, Sydney/Psyhogeos, Margaret (GEORGETOWN) def. Cancio, Julia/Zheng, Emily (WILLIAMS) 6-3
- Bush, Leah/Gancayco, Mia (WILLIAMS) def. Barnard, Sophia/Marx, Casey (GEORGETOWN) 6-3
Order of Finish:
Singles – 1, 2, 6, 3, 4, 5
Doubles – 2, 3, 1
Georgetown: 8-3, nationally unranked (Division I), regionally unranked (Atlantic)
Williams: 5-2, nationally ranked #2 (Division III), regionally ranked #1 (Northeast)